How would I have known what lay ahead of us? We had spent weeks arranging the Summer Adventure Review itinerary, sorting budgets, our gear requirements from the manufacturers and their PR agents. We had studied the wildlife and safety information for the diverse locations around our eight week trek around the American Wild West. My daily trip to the gym had become second nature that had taken me to levels of fitness I had not experienced since I was a younger man. It seemed there was no end to the countless invoices, emails and gear deliveries. We had sorted out our filming equipment and taken delivery of cameras and action cams from Olympus, Dog Cam, Garmin and Sony checking and rechecking we had enough batteries and memory cards for all. The days slipped by as we came closer and closer to our departure into the wilderness and the big outdoors. First stop the Colorado trail.
“Watch out guys, there’s a Moose over in the clearing. We can setup our tents here”. A Moose! Searching the failing light near a large bush I see a large silhouette, my head lamp catches it’s eyes and the light reflects back out me. We make ourselves busy setting up our tents and as I clutch my bear spray in hand I drift off to sleep. I awake at midnight as the ground shakes and a sound of heavy footsteps in what seemed slow motion filled my senses. My mind races, am I dreaming? The ground stops shaking and for a short time there is silence. Softly at first large lungs sniff the air and I freeze, the sound of sniffing intensifies and a large snout with massive nostrils appears under the flap of my single man tent. Taking in massive lungs of air not a foot from my head and the sound echoes around my tent. Suddenly, with the sound of massive bellows deflating all at once the snout slips back beneath the tent flap. The ground shakes again as the massive hooves rise and fall intermediately stopping as I hear it graze on the grass and it’s large hooves pound the ground only to return ten minuets later to stand in silence in the moonlight outside my small tent and slowly to graze as it slowly walked away into the night. Next morning thankfully the Moose was no where in sight. We packed up our tents and began our first hike into the Rocky Mountains our destination the Emerald Lake at 4268 feet.
No mater how much you train for a long hike you will always find it hard going to start with before you find your trail legs. My mind still programmed for working life, I felt a bit of my comfort zone. Have I done this, did I reply to that email, is my iPhone charged? We are so geared to deadlines, responsibilities of all manner. It takes time to adapt to the realisation of realising you are free and in the Wilderness away from the challenges of normal life. Slowly we view life in a different way, we take time to study the passing butterfly, the small stream and lay in the meadow and snooze as the wind blows softly through the grass and listen to the birds sing.
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